zaterdag 7 januari 2012

Austria - Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg

Salzburg has managed to preserve an extraordinarily rich urban fabric, developed over the period from the Middle Ages to the 19th century when it was a city-state ruled by a prince-archbishop. Its Flamboyant Gothic art attracted many craftsmen and artists before the city became even better known through the work of the Italian architects Vincenzo Scamozzi and Santini Solari, to whom the centre of Salzburg owes much of its Baroque appearance. This meeting-point of northern and southern Europe perhaps sparked the genius of Salzburg’s most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose name has been associated with the city ever since.


Salzburg is of outstanding universal value as an important example of a European ecclesiastical city-state which preserves to a remarkable degree its dramatic townscape, its historically significant urban fabric, and a large number of outstanding ecclesiastical and secular buildings from several centuries. It has preserved an extraordinarily rich urban fabric, developed from the Middle Ages to the 19th century when it was a city-state ruled by a prince-archbishop. Its flamboyant Gothic art attracted many craftsmen and artists before the city became even better known through the work of the Italian architects Vincenzo Scamozzi and Santini Solari, to whom the centre of Salzburg owes much of its Baroque appearance.
The city skyline, against a backdrop of mountains, is characterized by its profusion of spires and domes, dominated by the fortress of Hohensalzburg. There is a clear separation, visible on the ground and on the map, between the lands of the Prince-Archbishops and those of the burghers - the former characterized by monumental buildings and open spaces, the latter on small plots fronting on narrow streets, with the only open spaces provided by the three historic markets.
Salzburg is rich in buildings from the Gothic period onwards, which combine to create a townscape and urban fabric of great individuality and beauty. The cathedral (St Rupert and St Virgil) is the pre-eminent ecclesiastical building and the spiritual city centre. Archaeological excavations during the reconstruction following severe bomb damage in the Second World War have revealed much about the predecessors of the present building, back to its foundation in the 8th century as a three-aisled basilica. The second cathedral, in the same form but much enlarged, was built in 1181, but this was virtually destroyed by fire in 1598, to be replaced by the present structure. The original plan was the work of Vincenzo Scamozzi, a pupil of Andrea Palladio; the present building, the work of Santini Solari, the court master-builder, preserves many of Scamozzi's features.
The Benedictine Abbey of St Peter, founded in the closing years of the 7th century, contains in its church the only High Romanesque structure in Salzburg, mostly dating from the early 12th century. The main body of the church has undergone many modifications since the 12th century. Of special significance are the cemetery and catacombs of the abbey. The Nonnberg Benedictine Nunnery is the oldest convent north of the Alps, founded around the same time as the Abbey of St Peter. The present massive complex, on the eastern peak of the Mönchberg, is a striking feature of the townscape, with its dominating church roof and Baroque dome.
The Hohensalzburg Fortress, a Roman structure on this steep rock fan overlooking the city, was replaced in the Middle Ages by a wooden fort. The first stone building dates from the early 12th century and this was enlarged with towers, bastions and outer wards in the 15th century. Massive reconstruction and extension works were initiated at the beginning of the 16th century and continued to the late 17th century.
The creation of the Archbishop's Residence, begun in the early 12th century, lies in the heart of the old town. The present layout dates to the major rebuilding carried out by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau in the early years of the 17th century. The buildings are grouped round two courtyards.
In addition to its architectural heritage Salzburg is especially noteworthy for its associations with the arts, and in particular with music in the person of its famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Historical Description

No doubt because of its location at the narrowest point of the Salzach valley and sheltering between mountain ridges, Salzburg was the site of a substantial prehistoric settlement, and it became the natural choice for a Roman Settlement,Municipium Claudium Juvavum , at the intersection of three major Roman roads. What remained after the barbarian incursions from the 5th century onwards was granted in 696 by the Bavarian Duke Theodo to the Frankish missionary bishop Hrodbett, at the same time endowing the Abbey of St Peter at the foot Of the Monchsberg and the Nonnberg nunnery that he had founded with large tracts of land. The abbot Of St Peter’s alS0 served as bishop. As a secular counterweight a ducaI palace was built between the ecclesiastical district and the river. The early medieval development of the town was in the area between the palace and the river. Churches proliferated and scholars were attracted to the town.
Two significant events took place at the end of the 10th century. The abbacy and archbishopric were separated in 987, and in 996 the burgher town was awarded the right to levy tolls and hold markets. In 1077 Archbishop Gebhard built the fortress of Hohensalzburg, as a symbol of his power. The town continued to grow, spreading along a north-west street parallel with the river. Massive stone walls were built in the 1120s, to replace the earlier wooden Palisades.
The growing town was ravaged by fire in 1167 and a major rebuilding of the cathedral took Place. Later medieval fires led the burghers to replace their wooden houses with substantial stone buildings of the Inn-Salzach burgher type. With the advent of the Gothic period around 1300 ecclesiastical and lay Proprietors vied in embellishing their town. The Late Gothic art of Salzburg acquired a renown that went far beyond the town itself, and many famous artists lived and worked there in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, who was appointed Archbishop in 1587, remodeled the entire City, directing his attentions in particular to the residence and the cathedral, with their associated structures. Salzburg escaped the ravages of the Thirty Years’ war in the first half of the century, partly because of the new defences added by Archbishop Paris Lodron and partly because Of the Archbishop’s Clever policy Of neutrality. He was responsible for the foundation of the university in 1622. During this period of prosperity the burghers copied the Style of the Princely buildings in the drastically remodeling of their houses.
The townscape was enhanced in the closing years of the 17th century with the advent of the Baroque Style, used for a number of notable buildings and a series of monumental fountains that grace the squares Of Salzburg. This period also saw a flowering of the town as a cultural centre of the Enlightenment. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756 and lived there until driven away by the Archbishop of the time, Hieronvmus Count Colloredo.
Ecclesiastical rule ended with the Napoleonic Wars in 1803, and it became an Electorate, Covering Berchtesgaden, Passau, and Eichstatt as well; its first ruler was Ferdinand Ill of Tuscany, who had been driven out of his own Grand Duchy. The war was catastrophic for the economy of Salzburg, which took Several decades to recover. It was not until the railway was built between Salzburg and Linz, extending to Munich, that it began to improve, with the advent of investors from Bavaria as well as elsewhere in Austria. There was a renewed surge of building activity that continued into the Present Century, culminating in the buildings of the Festspielhaus.
Salzburg suffered from aerial bombardment in World War II. Post-war reconstruction Went hand-in-hand with expansion, and a number of distinguished works of contemporary architecture were added to the town’s rich stock from many periods.

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